By Diego Hernandez / March 13th, 2019
|Release Date||January 11th, 2019|
|Genre||Adventure, Puzzle, Platformer|
|Age Rating||E for Everyone|
Elli is a colorful fixed-camera platformer created by Swedish developer Bandana Kid. It released this past January, and honestly it couldn’t have come at a better time with many high-action games releasing. For instance, games like Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition and Resident Evil 2 were coming out alongside it. Games like Elli are traditionally important to have around as they provide some time to relax between your next big adventure. However, is this one in particular worth your time and money?
Welcome to the land of the Mandragora. Your new name is Elli. You are the guardian of this land, and it just so happens to be your birthday! However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows as someone you know is quite jealous of you being the guardian. This someone is named Ghasti, and she’s so jealous that she crashes your birthday party in the worst way imaginable. That is to say, she steals the five Crystals of Time, and if you don’t get them back the world’s doomed! As a result, there goes your party.
With the help of the Mandragora, you navigate through the land, solving puzzle after puzzle to catch up with the dastardly Ghasti as she starts adding traps into the mix. What could you have done to make her want to practically kill you? Regardless, you collect the Crystals of Time one by one and set up the final showdown. All in all, a story that’s easy to follow. Meanwhile, the controls are tight and fixed like the camera but just as easy to follow, and even intuitive. Knowing the trajectory of jumps and throws is vital to platformers and I can gladly say this one got it right.
In the process, the gameplay was actually quite fun. The puzzles had the right balance of fluidity and difficulty. Which is to say, you could figure them out in a fair amount of time and have it feel rewarding instead of agonizing over what to do for several minutes. The game encourages actively moving to figure your puzzles out and it rewards you with its in-game currency. For clarification, the currency is strictly used to decorate Elli however you wish, a nice touch. You may now occasionally mess up your jumps in style.
Elli features a diverse of array of platform mechanics that you may have seen in other games, from putting a box on a block to open a door to dealing with alternating platforms. All may seem basic at first glance, however it’s how they’re incorporated that makes the game shine momentarily. For instance, you’re presented with this large room with puzzles aplenty. You start solving them one by one and what seemed grand a few minutes ago is practically done by putting the pieces together. It’s easy, but the length is just right that it’ll leave you satisfied upon completion.
With every game alongside the positives come the negatives. The music was spot on in the early levels, however as I journeyed deeper the quality I heard faded. Instead of becoming more elaborate as I progressed, it was static throughout. Likewise, the story starts off on the right foot, but not enough holes are filled in towards the end. I knew little to nothing about the world around me or this character that just flat out hated me. In addition, even the ending left me perplexed, but not for the right reasons.
Elli is the textbook definition of a simplistic platformer. While nothing was overly outstanding, it was just fun. If you can ignore the plot holes and plain soundtrack, it’ll definitely be a treat for the gameplay alone. However, it’s just not right now as the game is priced at $19.99 USD, and I clocked in eight hours from start to finish. In conclusion, please consider picking this up during a sale to get the most out of your dollar.
Review copy provided by publisher.
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